It has been a real struggle for me to watch the recent devastation wreaked by proponents of Islam without letting my insides sour. Listening to the General Women's Meeting I even felt a tinge of discomfort when so much was said about refugees. That's when I knew I needed to repent (i.e. change) and feel my way toward a more godlike outlook. Thank goodness for the superior wisdom found in scripture!
I do not doubt that Mohammad was inspired to be a moral leader among the Arab nations so many centuries ago. The First Presidency, in 1978, stated that "The great religious leaders of the world such as Mohammed, Confucius and the Reformers...received a portion of Gods light. Moral truths were given to them by God to enlighten whole nations and to bring a higher level of understanding to individuals."
The story of Muslims and Christians is a story of brothers, every bit the brothers that the Lamanites were to the Nephites and that Ishmael was to Isaac. It appears to be true that some Islamic traditions perpetuate a hatred toward their Christian brothers, but that is no strange concept to anyone familiar with the perpetual struggle among the children of Lehi. The Lord revealed to Nephi why He allowed such violent opposition to exist in the promised land. He said of the Lamanites:
But how I should feel about them is what I wondered about and, well,...Ammon, the son of Mosiah, came to mind. After his deep, personal conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ, he desired to take the opportunity for salvation to a people Alma described as "wild and a hardened and a ferocious people; a people who delighted in murdering..." And he supposed all this was because of the "traditions of their fathers" (Alma 17:14-15). We know the story. Ammon allowed himself to be captured and brought before the king, where he pledged to be his servant in exchange for being permitted to dwell with them for a time. It was his service and his example of faith in Christ that wrought a change in that entire community, more powerful than what can be accomplished with the sword. Mind you, he still had to resort to bloodshed when necessary in defense of property, but he certainly didn't appear to delight in it or act in a vengeful way.
Gosh. I've decided I want to be like Ammon. There isn't a whole lot I can do from "small town USA" in this current epic fight between brothers other than to train my own thoughts about the issue along the path of charity. I can choose to accept the invitation from my general auxiliary leadership regarding the "I Was a Stranger" effort, to take under my wing any within my reach who is in need of love, friendship and a helping hand.
And this might sound like a very fine, insignificant line, but another thing I can do is make sure that when I hear about the terrorist tragedies that I'm sure will continue to occur, I can check myself to make sure that what I feel is mourning instead of anger and a desire for vengeance. "Vengeance is the Lord's" after all...perhaps because He is the only one meek enough to wield it properly.
What say ye?